Rodeo enthusiasts, horse people and everyone else — you’re all welcome to hang out with the University of Saskatchewan Rodeo Team in their fifth year of operation on campus.
Kailyn Beaulac, the team’s treasurer and sponsorship co-ordinator and also a second-year animal and poultry science graduate student, said that the group is entirely student-run and accepts new members throughout the year.
“We call ourselves the Rodeo Team, but we don’t turn anybody down. We have members who had never been on a horse until one of the team members put them on a horse, so that’s kind of cool,” Beaulac said. “We’re just kind of open to anybody who wants to learn more about rodeo, or anybody who wants to kind of put their foot in the door with their horse while they’re going to school.”
The Rodeo Team was active in the past but spent about 15 years dormant until it was revived again in 2011. Beaulac explained the reason the Rodeo Team was brought back to campus was to offer the rodeo experience to post-secondary students.
“It’s nice to have teammates to practice together, help each other out, haul together, that sort of thing. [The founding members] really liked the family atmosphere of rodeo so they decided to try and bring [the Rodeo Team] back.”
Five years later and the club is still going strong, having just held their fifth annual University of Saskatchewan Rodeo in Martensville, Sask. on Sept. 26 and 27. With 126 competitors entered in the draw, the two-day event offered an opportunity to compete with athletes who run the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association circuit.
Beaulac noted that while the CIRA circuit does have a few other collegiate rodeo teams, like the ones at Lakeland College and Olds College, none are quite like the entirely self-funded U of S team.
“We’re a bit unique in that sense. We’re also a bit unique as we’re the only structured university team, the rest are all college teams,” she said. “We’re kind of different from other college rodeo teams as we don’t have a coach, don’t have a team manager, that sort of thing. We operate somewhat similar to a club.”
The annual rodeo is a large portion of the team’s fundraising, and they also run events like practice nights, team workout nights and team study nights. Members aren’t required to compete in CIRA rodeos but they are more than welcome to.
Besides the opportunities to compete in the collegiate rodeo circuit, Beaulac outlined some of the other benefits the Rodeo Team offers to the campus community.
“I’ve made a lot of good friends just from being on the team. So that kind of really helps, especially with university because when you find a common interest, like horses … it makes university a lot more fun and you get to enjoy something like that with people of similar interests,” she said.
“I think it’s an important club in respects to diversity,” she added. “We get a lot of high school members who come to the first meeting, and it’s the same feeling as the high school association, or it’s the same feeling as their rodeo association at home, and I think it really helps with the transition.”
Membership with the U of S Rodeo Team requires a Stockman’s Club membership from the College of Agriculture, which costs $10, and is open to all students year round.
Larissa Kurz / Copy Editor
Photos: Jeremy Britz / Photo Editor